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Creating a Landscape Quilt

Kelly Drive

landscape quilt kelly drive

I have a collection of beautiful photos taken by my husband, Rod, during his early morning bike rides along Kelly Drive.  One, in particular, caught my eye so I recently created it into a landscape quilt.

I traced the the photo into a rough line drawing in my Sketches App on my iPad then expanded it into the size I needed in Photoshop and printed it out on my home printer.

landscape quilt kelly drive - line drawing

landscape quilt kelly drive - background

This gave me the right proportions for creating my background on which to create the landscape quilt.  The shadows caught my eye so I created some of them by using various shades of hand dyed fabric for the path and grass.

landscape quilt kelly drive cheese cloth

After taking Mary Pal’s Cheese Cloth Explorations Online Class I painted the cheese cloth as per her instructions.  The pieces were coaxed into tree shapes on a piece of Dura-Lar taped over my line drawing.  I used a diluted mix of Gorilla Glue which made the cheese cloth stiff when dry but still pliable enough to stitch through.

kelly drive trees

The trees were auditioned by holding up the Dura-Lar in front of the background.  They looked good to go.  I eventually had to slice a piece of the cheese cloth out so my lamp post could nestle smoothly in between the threes.  The cheese cloth is very 3-D.

kelly drive wall stones

I added the tree trunks and didn’t realize until later that some of them were lamp posts.  No problem:  I fused gray fabric over the mistaken trunks while I was quilting later.  I found a piece of translucent silk which blended nicely with the black arch for the bold stones in the upper right of the piece.

kelly drive vines

More opaque fabric paint was added to the trees to better eliminate the transparency.  I also added the painted salt and scale on the stones.   The large stones of the arches were quilted with only their outlines since I liked the dimensional quality left by the unquilted squares and rectangles. I also added more shadows across the pathway, grass and roadway with a slate colored marker.

Evolon paper was used for the vines hanging down over the arch and painted it a lighter color than in the actual photo.  I wanted more of a contrast with the black and a compliment to the warmth of the leaves.

kelly drive grass

The quilting of the grass was an intense experience.  I am not usually one who likes a lot of microquilting but this seemed to call for it.  I took a nap after that section!

kelly drive back

I always like to flip the quilt and see what the back looks like.  It’s always another interesting work of art in itself.  The fabric I used for the back was a black and gray version of the old fossil fern print.  Can you believe that fabric is still around?  It’s a winner.

I faced the quilt for a clean finish and you may see the listing here.

kelly drive

Creating this quilt was, as usual, a process of finding challenges and figuring out ways to overcome them.  I enjoyed the process very much!

If you are interested in taking a landscape quilting class you may check out my offerings here.

You may also be interested in joining a group of supportive like minded people who love to quilt in my Facebook Group.  Just ask to join and answer a few questions.



  1. Meredith Dobson says:

    This always looks easy on paper and with descriptions. However, when I try to follow that with my own supplies and eye for color, depth, and many years of traditional quilting, my results don’t always seem to be satisfying to me. I often wish I could be in an in-person class where a teacher could help “coach” me through the process. I truly admire this kind of fabric art and keep on trying, but with personally disappointing results. HELP!

    1. Rachel says:

      I’m hopefully doing a virtual live easy landscape quilt class sometime in late spring so stay tuned!

      1. Coral Dews says:

        I would be very interested in do an online class. I have similar proles when it comes to actually doing the process.

        1. Rachel says:

          Creating this as an online class is high on my priority list. Stay tuned and I’ll let you know when it rolls out.

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